Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday went scorched Earth on Sen. Rick Scott’s plan to go after Social Security and Medicare.
Asked about the plan during a radio show interview, McConnell started off by rejecting it and saying it doesn’t represent the Republican Party’s vision for the future.
“Well, unfortunately, that was the Scott plan. That’s not a Republican plan. That’s a Rick Scott plan. The Republican plan, as I pointed out last fall, if we were to become the majority, there were no plans to raise the taxes on the American people or to sunset Medicare or Social Security,” he said.
“So it’s clearly the Rick Scott plan. It is not the Republican plan. And that’s the view of the Speaker of the House as well,” he added.
He further stressed this fact by noting that whereas he and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are in positions of “authoritative” power, Scott isn’t.
“Well, Speaker McCarthy said Social Security and Medicare are not to be touched and I’ve said the same, and I think we’re in a more authoritative position to state what the position of the party is, than any single senator,” he said.
McConnell BURNS Rick Scott:
✅confirms “that was the Scott plan” to sunset SocSecurity & Medicare
“I think it will be a challenge for him to deal with this in his own re-election in FL: a state with more elderly people than any other state in America”
On @terrymeiners @840WHAS: pic.twitter.com/yAIhVLb6LY
— Joel Lawson (@JoelLawsonDC) February 10, 2023
Lastly, McConnell was asked whether his opposition to Scott’s plan has anything to do with the senator’s decision late last year to challenge his position as minority leader.
“Well, this doesn’t have anything to do with that. I mean, it’s just a bad idea. I think it will be a challenge for him to deal with this in his own re-election in Florida, a state with more elderly people than any other state in America,” he replied.
Despite there being great animus toward McConnell, on this issue it appears the public mostly sides with him — and understandably so. A vast majority of Americans don’t want Social Security and Medicare touched.
So why is Scott so hellbent on reforming Social Security and Medicare given the public’s opposition? Because they’re on track to go insolvent within roughly 10 years.
“Social Security will be insolvent by 2034. One of the trust funds for Medicare will be insolvent even sooner. When insolvency hits, both programs will be subject to mandatory benefit cuts. The exact size of the cuts will depend on payroll tax collections in that year, but the current estimate is that Social Security will be able to pay only 80 percent of promised benefits in 2034,” according to Reason magazine.
When this finally happens, there will only be one way out: By further taxing the American people, particularly the working class.
“[T]hey will have to agree to immediately raise the payroll tax from 12.4 percent to 15.64 percent—or close to a 25 percent tax increase. Add to that the tax hike necessary for Medicare and then repeat the exercise over the years to fill the entire shortfall,” Reason notes.
And so in fairness to Scott, he is trying to do the responsible thing. It just so happens that the responsible thing is hated, hated, hated by most of the public, not to mention by McConnell, by McCarthy, and even by President Joe Biden.
As of Friday morning, Scott hadn’t yet responded to McConnell’s latest attack. The previous attack occurred earlier this month when Scott was denied a seat on the Senate Commerce Committee. He immediately blamed McConnell.
“I represent the third-biggest state in the country. What they told me today at lunch is the way the rules work, McConnell gets to pick. So guess who [was] kicked off? Mike Lee and me,” he said to Fox News at the time.
Then on Thursday, he doubled down when asked about his relationship with McConnell, going so far as to call his ouster “pretty petty.”
FOX: How’s your relationship with Mitch McConnell?
RICK SCOTT: I’m going to vote for the citizens of Florida.
FOX: But are you guys cool with each other? Are you talking?
SCOTT: Well, he just kicked me off a committee. So that was pretty petty. pic.twitter.com/zr0xqCZwKK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 9, 2023
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